Questions for Things Fall Apart

In reading Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, keep the following questions in mind.

1) As you know from his essay on Conrad, Achebe is very much aware of and writing against Conrad and how Africa has previously been represented by Europeans. How does his mode of representation differ from Conrad’s? Is it similar at any points?

2) What is Okonkwo’s role in his tribe? To what extent does he embody a masculine ideal?

3) What conflicts arise in Umuofia before the coming of the Europeans? How does the coming of the Europeans enflame these already existing tensions?

4) Think about how the novel ends. Why does no one follow Okonkwo’s lead? Why does he do what he does? What do you think the future holds for the townspeople? How has the clan “fallen apart”?

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